Man sentenced to 24 years for murder of released child killer

Ieuan Harley stabbed David Gaut who had completed 32-year sentence, Newport court hears

Ieuan Harley
 Ieuan Harley, 23, ‘carried out a brutal and savage murder’. Photograph: Gwent Police/PA

A man has been jailed for at least 24 years after being found guilty of torturing and stabbing to death a convicted child killer shortly after he was released from prison.

Ieuan Harley, 23, stabbed his neighbour David Gaut at least 150 times in New Tredegar, south Wales, when he discovered he had just completed a 32-year jail sentence for killing 15-month-old Chi Ming Shek in 1985.

After Gaut was dead, Harley removed his fingernails and stabbed him a further 26 times with a screwdriver, leaving him injuries so gruesome they were kept away from the jury during the trial.

The killer’s friends David Osborne, 51, and Darran Evesham, 47, helped him move Gaut’s body and remove evidence.

Harley was found guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice, while Evesham and Osborne were convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Ben Douglas-Jones QC, prosecuting, told Newport crown court that Harley had a history of attacking men he believed were child abusers.

Douglas-Jones said: “Harley was in Cardiff city centre when he attacked a man sat in a mobility scooter, having been told by people he was with he was a ‘nonce’ [a person convicted or accused of a sexual offence].

“That was not correct, but he took the man by the neck in a stranglehold and eye gouged him, leading to him being admitted to hospital and with an eye infection from a tear to his cornea.”

The judge, Mr Justice Lewis, said Gaut had experienced “real suffering” at Harley’s hands. He said: “You carried out a brutal and savage murder. He was stabbed repeatedly to his eyes, his face, head, and other parts of his body. You wanted to make him suffer, and you did before finally killing him.”

Gaut’s mother, Phyllis Gaut, 78, said her son had served his time for the 1985 murder and claimed: “This man [Harley] is no better than David. He too is a killer.

“David spent over 30 years in prison and paid the price for what he did. David struggled to understand how much the world had moved on since he had been in prison.

“I understand how some people will not sympathise David is dead. As a family we do not condone what David did. I believe his release from prison was a chance for him to do some good.

“His death has left a huge void in my heart. This man has taken away the opportunity to prove he had changed.”

After his release in 2017, Gaut had pretended he had been in prison for murdering a soldier. But his neighbours discovered the truth about his past after searching his name on the internet.

Gaut had been babysitting his girlfriend’s son when he battered, kicked and burned the child. The baby died of multiple injuries including a broken arm, damaged liver and spleen and a fractured skull.

Harley, of no fixed address, was jailed for life with a minimum of 24 years, while Evesham, from New Tredegar, was jailed for three years and six months, and Osborne, of Elliots Town, for two years and four months.

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